Is Lily James Returning To Downton Abbey As Rose?

Despite "Downton Abbey" not being Lily James' first foray in television, it became her breakthrough role. As Lady Rose MacClare, James starred in nearly half the episodes of the show's original run, making her debut in the latter half of season three.

Her character visits Downton Abbey for the first time in the autumn of 1920, returning a year later after the Crawley family visits her home at Duneagle Castle (via Downton Abbey Wiki). It's decided that she is to live at Downton while her parents are in India, where she becomes the love interest of some of the county home's most eligible suitors.

Eventually she meets the love of her life Atticus Aldridge in 1924, and the two marry and have a child together. The last time Rose visits Downton is during the 1925-26 new years celebrations, which also happens to be the series finale. And as for the film, James was noticeably absent as Rose. But seeing as the cast are returning for a second film this year, is there any chance the actress will reprise her role?

Lily James could one day return to Downton Abbey

Sadly, it doesn't look like it. Lily James wasn't part of the cast announcement which included new additions like Hugh Dancy, Laura Haddock, Nathalie Bay, and Dominic West, per Elle. Of course, the original principal cast is also returning, including the likes of Hugh Boneville, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter, Brendan Coyle, Maggie Smith, and Joanne Froggatt — but not James.

It seems that this is mainly down to scheduling, as James has been pretty busy as of late. She's got two films in the works including "What's Love Got to Do With It?" starring Emma Thompson, Shazad Latif, and Nikkita Chadha, as well as another film in the pipeline, "The Paris Trap" (via IMDb). She's also starring in the Hulu series "Pam & Tommy," in which she plays the "Baywatch" bombshell Pamela Anderson (via YouTube).

But there's always the possibility that James could return to "Downton" in the future, as its creator Julian Fellowes has teased a third film. Speaking about the cast, Fellowes told Radio Times (via Yahoo! News), "They say goodbye, everyone cries and two years later, we're back at it!" Fellowes went on to say that he thinks "each time it's goodbye, but whether it is or not, who knows?"